Locked in and Locked Out


My mom’s cousin Martin stood in the parking lot next to his car, desperately trying to find the right angle to see his mom’s face from the nursing home window. He had traveled up from Pennsylvania to see his mother, who neared age 100. He’d taken this trip before, but this was the first time he’d been up since the pandemic started. Nursing homes feared outside interaction that might lead to COVID-19 entering their facilities. But in the second week of August, Martin had his chance: the nursing home had lifted its restrictions.

He’d hoped to go inside, but on the drive up, he learned that the facility had shut down again. Someone within the facility had tested positive, and, only days after opening up to visitors, they had to shut back down. Martin couldn’t enter the building for another 28 days. There he stood in the parking lot, waiting for his mom to pick out his face through the window. They locked eyes, and she smiled and waved.

Andrew is a junior magazine journalism major at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications. He’s a sportswriter at The Daily Orange, where he was sports editor during the fall semester.